E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web is one of the most beloved children’s books of the 20th century, and the reason for its enduring appeal lies as much in Garth Williams’ iconic illustrations as it does in the genuinely heartwarming nature of its narrative. The book was certainly a big part of our childhood, so we were delighted to see that the original proofs of Williams’ drawings have surfaced on the web recently. Apparently Williams’ first conception of tender-hearted spider Charlotte was as a sort of anthropomorphic arachnid with a human’s face, an idea that White wasn’t keen on, and you can see traces of the idea in at least one of these original drawings. (Williams himself was a fascinating character, finding early work during World War II as a poster artist and also causing quite a stir in 1958 with a book about interracial love between rabbits.) Anyway, check out a selection of the Charlotte’s Web illustrations after the jump.
Image credit: Garth Williams. Spotted via Retronaut.